Community-oriented primary care: a path to community development

Am J Public Health. 2002 Nov;92(11):1713-6. doi: 10.2105/ajph.92.11.1713.


Although community development and social change are not explicit goals of community-oriented primary care (COPC), they are implicit in COPC's emphasis on community organization and local participation with health professionals in the assessment of health problems. These goals are also implicit in the shared understanding of health problems' social, physical, and economic causes and in the design of COPC interventions. In the mid-1960s, a community health center in the Mississippi Delta created programs designed to move beyond narrowly focused disease-specific interventions and address some of the root causes of community morbidity and mortality. Drawing on the skills of the community itself, a selfsustaining process of health-related social change was initiated. A key program involved the provision of educational opportunities.

Publication types

  • Historical Article

MeSH terms

  • African Americans / education
  • African Americans / history
  • Child
  • Child Welfare / ethnology
  • Child Welfare / history
  • Community Health Centers / history*
  • Community Health Centers / organization & administration
  • Community Health Planning / history*
  • Community Health Planning / organization & administration
  • Community Participation
  • History, 20th Century
  • Humans
  • Primary Health Care / history*
  • Primary Health Care / organization & administration
  • Rural Health Services / history
  • Social Change / history
  • Social Medicine / history*
  • Social Medicine / organization & administration
  • United States